Anxiety in Middle School
| Educators and parents have worked together for years to raise the standards of academic instruction and ensure each student has access to the most effective academic environment. Students must be emotionally and physically ready to meet this challenge. Many students, especially 6th graders and those new to the District, may experience stress and anxiety as they learn more about what is expected in middle school. This can manifest itself in many ways.
What are signs of anxiety?
How can I help my child if I think they are anxious or worried about school?
· Listen to their concerns. Talk about it. Let them know you care, and you understand that they are feeling a bit anxious.
· Educate yourself and your child about anxiety and its symptoms. Help your child understand that many people experience anxiety from time to time. Reassure them that their anxiety will be reduced as they learn more about middle school and become more comfortable with their new routine. Encourage perseverance.
· Rule out any physical illness. Speak with your family doctor to determine if a check-up is warranted.
· Establish good habits. Remind your child that avoiding new experiences may only increase feelings of anxiety. Encourage use of their daily planner, regular study and sleep times, proper exercise and nutrition and social fun time.
· Encourage your child to use stress relievers at school (deep breathing, getting a drink of water, running cool water over wrists, using humor).
· Remember you are a role model. Monitor your own stress level and use effective personal stress management strategies. Remain calm and reassuring when your child expresses worry.
· Speak with your child’s counselor, school psychologist or social worker if you need additional suggestions or support.
· Seek outside professional help if anxiety persists for several weeks, increases or significantly interferes with school performance or social experiences.